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Thread: AMD FirePro M2000 with amd catalyst on Ubuntu 12.04+

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    Default AMD FirePro M2000 with amd catalyst on Ubuntu 12.04+

    Hi guys,

    I'm looking for a new laptop and the one which is currently my favorite has a pretty new AMD FirePro M2000 chip

    does it work with the amd catalyst and thus with Ubuntu OOB (out of the box) - if not what special driver do I need for Linux ?

    is there already some initial opensource and powersaving support for it available (it's pretty new and afaik available only since July 2012)


    Many thanks in advance

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    with the SI ISA documentation been published just 6 days ago (http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...-Documentation) and the southern island support is gaining some ground

    I'd nonetheless like to get some decent battery runtime out of the laptop that I'm eyeballing (HP Elitebook 8470w with the AMD FirePro M2000 - equalling the Radeon HD 7590M; or the Elitebook 8470p with the Radeon HD 7570M)

    is that impossible at the current moment ?


    there are catalyst drivers provided by HP but only for RHEL 6.2 and SLES/SLED 11 which I won't use - if the current catalyst doesn't support it (or only via "unsupported hardware" watermark - it'd be fine)

    the "best" possible solution right now would be to disable the AMD graphics during battery usage via vga_switcheroo and wait until the driver progressed further ?

    would that disable the graphics card and stop its power consumption ?
    (from what I read the bios/efi doesn't allow an option to disable the graphics card)


    I know that several of the questions fit also in the opensource AMD subforum and others but cross-posting and opening several posts most likely is unacceptable


    Thanks for reading and for your answers/help

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    Quote Originally Posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
    with the SI ISA documentation been published just 6 days ago (http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...-Documentation) and the southern island support is gaining some ground

    I'd nonetheless like to get some decent battery runtime out of the laptop that I'm eyeballing (HP Elitebook 8470w with the AMD FirePro M2000 - equalling the Radeon HD 7590M; or the Elitebook 8470p with the Radeon HD 7570M)

    is that impossible at the current moment ?
    Troublesome is the best description... Laptops are almost NEVER fully functional at release if they use latest tech. However in my experience the support almost appears for the most part within 6 months.
    Quote Originally Posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
    It's possible to use this out of box. However you will need to disable kernel mode setting until the binary drivers are installed.

    there are catalyst drivers provided by HP but only for RHEL 6.2 and SLES/SLED 11 which I won't use - if the current catalyst doesn't support it (or only via "unsupported hardware" watermark - it'd be fine)

    the "best" possible solution right now would be to disable the AMD graphics during battery usage via vga_switcheroo and wait until the driver progressed further ?
    Currently, the best option would be the binary drivers.

    Quote Originally Posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
    would that disable the graphics card and stop its power consumption ?
    (from what I read the bios/efi doesn't allow an option to disable the graphics card)
    This is more of a ACPI Issue, however if ACPI is working properly, the card will automatically be disabled until it's enabled by the driver.

    Quote Originally Posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
    I know that several of the questions fit also in the opensource AMD subforum and others but cross-posting and opening several posts most likely is unacceptable


    Thanks for reading and for your answers/help
    Yes, Your right on this, and Personally the best bet is to get the laptop and provide regular testing... Just look at the xorg edgers options for your distribution if you want to provide up to date x11/xorg stuff.

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    All cards you listed are hd6k chips, not 7k (northern islands instead of south - earlier gen), so they should work with any driver from this year practically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandel View Post
    Troublesome is the best description... Laptops are almost NEVER fully functional at release if they use latest tech. However in my experience the support almost appears for the most part within 6 months.


    Currently, the best option would be the binary drivers.



    This is more of a ACPI Issue, however if ACPI is working properly, the card will automatically be disabled until it's enabled by the driver.



    Yes, Your right on this, and Personally the best bet is to get the laptop and provide regular testing... Just look at the xorg edgers options for your distribution if you want to provide up to date x11/xorg stuff.

    thanks for your in-depth answer Dandel


    I hope that the bios or (u)EFI and thus ACPI works ok on that particular laptop - I read about some issues on the previous model (8460p)

    since I haven't read about anyone using newer linux distributions with the catalyst on e.g. Ubuntu 12.04LTS with this laptop - right now it's too much of a risk for me - so I'm looking for other devices unless I get a clear yay or nay on the (newer) catalyst and Ubuntu support (8470p might work with the AMD 7570M but not so sure about the 8470w and the FirePro M2000)


    @curaga:


    thanks !

    the problem is that several spots (the information on the firepro m2000 is really scarce) say that it's a hd7xxxM chip (including wikipedia and http://www.linlap.com/wiki/hp+elitebook+8470p ; in this case 8470p - I doubt that HP would be that crazy to integrate an older generation-based graphics chip on the workstation laptop - so the FirePro M2000 should be better equipped counter-part to the HD 7570M I guess)

    edit:

    ok, so the "Turks" codename basically means that the 7xxxM/7xxx cards are better & relabeled 6xxxx/6xxxxM cards - thus northern islands ?

    so, like you wrote - it should be suppported: http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Hardware



    @bridgman:

    could you please shed some light on the following things:

    whether the AMD 7570M and especially the FirePro M2000 work with the Catalyst driver provided by Ubuntu 12.04LTS

    the FirePro M2000 is a southern island chip

    /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch works with those graphics solutions (HP Elitebook 8470w & 8470p); Intel HD 4000 + FirePro M2000/HD7570M


    Many thanks in advance




    I'd like to avoid using a laptop with the nVidia Optimus technology - especially concerning nvidia's opensource policy and the fact that /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch doesn't work on these portable devices - so that bumblebee is needed and
    newer kernels can't be used until nvidia provides driver support
    Last edited by kernelOfTruth; 08-22-2012 at 10:47 AM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
    /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch works with those graphics solutions (HP Elitebook 8470w & 8470p); Intel HD 4000 + FirePro M2000/HD7570M
    There is two kind of hybrid graphics: MUX-ed and MUX-less (read carefully here). vgaswitcheroo may switch GPU only on MUX-ed laptop (and only if this laptop is supported by vgaswitcheroo). On MUX-less laptop vgaswitcheroo can only turn off second GPU, nothing more. All laptops propduced in latest two years is MUX-less. Proprietary driver support only MUX-less laptopts. vgaswitcheroo is not available when you use propritary driver because proprietary driver have own internal solution for hybrid graphics.
    Offloading rendering with FOSS drivers (read it: proper support of laptops with MUX-less hybrid graphics in FOSS driver) probably will be available next year.

    Quote Originally Posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
    especially concerning nvidia's opensource policy and the fact that /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch doesn't work on these portable devices - so that bumblebee is needed and newer kernels can't be used until nvidia provides driver support
    Situation with Optimus the same with one difference: MUX-less Optimus can not work in Linux without Bumblebee, MUX-less PowerXpress may work in Linux without Bumblebee (at this moment there is only one exception - Radeon HD 7970M).

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    Quote Originally Posted by RussianNeuroMancer View Post
    There is two kind of hybrid graphics: MUX-ed and MUX-less (read carefully here). vgaswitcheroo may switch GPU only on MUX-ed laptop (and only if this laptop is supported by vgaswitcheroo). On MUX-less laptop vgaswitcheroo can only turn off second GPU, nothing more. All laptops propduced in latest two years is MUX-less. Proprietary driver support only MUX-less laptopts. vgaswitcheroo is not available when you use propritary driver because proprietary driver have own internal solution for hybrid graphics.
    Offloading rendering with FOSS drivers (read it: proper support of laptops with MUX-less hybrid graphics in FOSS driver) probably will be available next year.
    thanks for the link RussianNeuroMancer, now I finally understand (at least superficially and/or partially) how it works

    ok, so the laptop is MUX-less and for best results needs the proprietary driver (which might or might not work with the catalyst driver on Ubuntu 12.04LTS since there are no reports on the Internet - yet) - this in turn is the easiest solution
    follow a guide like: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1930450 or similar


    if I understood correctly the second (dedicated & thus radeon) card can be switched off with vgaswitcheroo as long as only opensource drivers are used - this is persistent until reboot (or resume from resume) ?

    how difficult is it to turn the card off ? I read that both kernel modules (intel & radeon) need to be running in KMS mode - but since only part of the functionality (only turning off secondary card) works there might be trouble ?


    Quote Originally Posted by RussianNeuroMancer View Post
    Situation with Optimus the same with one difference: MUX-less Optimus can not work in Linux without Bumblebee, MUX-less PowerXpress may work in Linux without Bumblebee (at this moment there is only one exception - Radeon HD 7970M).
    I see - that's exactly why I asked - I didn't understood how all of that hybrid voodoo stuff exactly worked in the first place


    ok, so the issue that I might run into is that the FirePro M2000 isn't supported by the catalyst in Ubuntu since some hardware IDs are missing to recognize the card (which is improbable since there are drivers albeit only for RHEL and SLED/SLES)

    in that case I hope that AMD's support and/or devs work fast (meaning offering support within 1-2 weeks) since I need that laptop for work/studying - meanwhile I hope there would be a way to use only the integrated HD 4000 graphics


    that's a lot of unknown variables ...



    thanks !

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    Quote Originally Posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
    if I understood correctly the second (dedicated & thus radeon) card can be switched off with vgaswitcheroo as long as only opensource drivers are used - this is persistent until reboot
    Yes, only until reboot.
    Quote Originally Posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
    how difficult is it to turn the card off ?
    Easy. You may disable it in UEFI, or in Catalyst Control Center, or put line
    Code:
    echo "OFF" > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    to /etc/rc.local if you use FOSS driver.

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    @kernelOfTruth: could you please share your experiences if you bought your HP Elitebook?

    Would you recommend after all the 8470w (or the 8470p) to use with Linux? I'm on Arch Linux, and I would be very happy even with a disabled dedicated GPU and using solely the Intel HD4000 GPU in the machine, if it's possible without any dirty hack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daroczig View Post
    @kernelOfTruth: could you please share your experiences if you bought your HP Elitebook?

    Would you recommend after all the 8470w (or the 8470p) to use with Linux? I'm on Arch Linux, and I would be very happy even with a disabled dedicated GPU and using solely the Intel HD4000 GPU in the machine, if it's possible without any dirty hack.

    Hi daroczig,

    sorry to disappoint & for posting with that big delay

    I moved on to a Lenovo Thinkpad T530 - there you have the option to disable the nvidia graphics card in the bios

    and that's the approach I'm currently using


    afaik the 8470p was offered at ubook here in Vienna (the edition only with the HD4000 GPU - without dedicated extra nvidia GPU) for students so that should work fine under Linux

    not sure about the two-GPU combo though might be tricky to get to work

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